Two Osan workers accused of mailing illegal drugs
SEOUL — South Korean police have arrested two Osan Air Base civilian workers accused of mailing illegal drugs to themselves through the military postal system, officials said Wednesday.
The arrests are part of a larger anti-drug operation that has resulted in a dozen arrests of non-Koreans in recent weeks, said an investigator with the Korean National Police’s Pyongtaek station. Others arrested include citizens of Canada, Russia, Great Britain and India, the investigator said.
Police identified the two base employees as Muhammed Khan, 21, and Chris Alexander, 46. According to police, Khan worked in the Osan child care system and Alexander worked at the car sales lot.
Both are in South Korean custody, officials said, though no court dates have been set. No other base employees or military personnel currently are under investigation, the South Korean officials said.
The investigation began after the KNP received a tip from the Air Force Office of Special Investigations Osan branch, police said. OSI, which investigates military-related crimes, refers media queries to its U.S. headquarters.
Information from OSI headquarters was not yet available Wednesday. But according to the KNP investigator, Khan and Alexander mailed themselves more than 100 pounds of hashish hidden in fruit cans and a stuffed animal. Both are accused of using some of the drugs for personal use, then selling the remainder to various non-Koreans.
The drugs originally were mailed from Vancouver, police said.
The KNP officer said the investigation had been under way since August, though South Korean customs officials were not involved. The military postal system is one conduit through which drugs enter South Korea and Japan, officials have said.
In recent years, both Japanese and South Korean police have made similar arrests of military and civilian personnel attempting to smuggle drugs through their on-base mailboxes.